Main achievements and future plans of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation

The Mediterranean Tourism Foundation is an independent and impartial international organisation for public-private cooperation.  It aims to increase the potential of sustainable tourism growth across the Mediterranean, by transforming the region into an area of peace, cooperation and prosperity through regional cooperation and tangible projects including commercial initiatives.  The MTF has as patron H.E Dr George Vella, President of Malta who is a very active advocate for peace in the Mediterranean region through the promotion of sustainable tourism growth. For more information about the Foundation please refer to

The MTF has over the past decade developed a strong international network and delivered various concrete initiatives in various fields including music and events, technology, embellishment of cities, training and development, religious tourism and service excellence and safety. MTF has partnered with leading organisations and personalities in the world including, WSP, Grimshaw, Radio Italia, Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli, Sebastian Yatra, and Forbes Travel Guide amongst others. The MTF also manages the Mediterranean Orchestra and Choir as led by the internationally acclaimed orchestra conductor Maestro Bruno Santori.

Furthermore, the MTF organises the Mediterranean Tourism Forum which is a yearly gathering that brings together leaders of society and other stakeholders holding an interest in Mediterranean tourism and peace. Indeed, representatives of governments, top executives, leaders of international organisations and relevant non-governmental organisations, the most prominent cultural, societal and thought leaders and disruptive voices come together each year with the aim to define priorities and shape Mediterranean tourism agendas.  The Forum takes the format of various specialised masterclasses and discussion arenas culminating in a plenary session and the Mediterranean Tourism Gala Awards ceremony.  Public inclusion is achieved through broad international media participation, televised sessions and webcasts, and through the Foundation’s followers on social media.Origins and relevance of Mediterranean Tourism Awards;

The origins of the Mediterranean Tourism Awards, organized by the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, lie in the foundation’s commitment to promoting tourism as a vehicle for stability, peace and hope for the people of the Mediterranean region. Established in 2013 the Awards recognize outstanding achievements in various facets of the industry, these awards likely aim to celebrate and encourage best practices in hospitality, cultural preservation, environmental sustainability, and innovation.

The primary objectives of the awards program include fostering collaboration among Mediterranean countries, inspiring positive competition among tourism stakeholders, and ultimately elevating the overall quality of tourism services in the region. By shining a spotlight on noteworthy contributions and initiatives, the awards seek to motivate industry participants to adopt responsible and innovative approaches, contributing to the sustainable growth of tourism in the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the Awards aim to recognise the talents, efforts and achievements of distinguished personalities from across the world who through their profession or activity aim to rekindle the beauty of the Mediterranean identity in the world.A short description of the individual awards and awardees;

The following are the categories:

The MARE NOSTRUM Lifetime Achievement Award– a recognition bestowed to acknowledge individuals for their visionary leadership and substantial contributions over their careers. This recognition is a tribute to those who have served as inspirational role models, making a significant impact on the development of Mediterranean travel and tourism at the local, national, regional, or international level throughout their distinguished professional journeys… it is with great pleasure and honour that I call to stage

The AKDENIZ category Award, presented to eminent figures in academia, government, or private industry for exceptional contributions to the advancement of Mediterranean culture, heritage, and environment at an international level.

The category The Great Sea Awards which acknowledge merit and distinction, bestowed upon eminent figures in academia, government, or private industry for their exceptional contributions FOR THE PROMOTION OF…








The following are the Award winners:

  • ANGELO XUEREB, Chairman AX Group: MARE NOSTRUM Lifetime Achievement Award 2023
  • Chef GINO D’ACAMPO, Celebrity Chef and Media Personality: AKDENIZ AWARD 2023- The advancement of Mediterranean Culture
  • BILAL EKŞI, Turkish Airlines CEO: GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 – Sustainable Travel Solutions
  • Chef MARIO MANDALINIC: GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 – Sustainable Cuisine
  • Chef EBRU BAYBARA DEMIR: GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 – Sustainable Cuisine
  • IVANA VLADOVIC, Director Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 – Sustainable Business Policy
  • GIANLUCA MANENTI, President Confcommercio Regione Sicilia GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 – Sustainable Business Policy
  • ALEXANDROS VASSILIKOS, President Hotrec GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 – Sustainable Business Policy
  • Prof. DIMITRIOS BUHALIS GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 Research in Innovative Sustainable Tourism Solutions
  • MARIO MARINO, Mayor of Scicli GREAT SEA AWARD 2023 – Sustainable Destinations
  • VITTORIO SGARBI, Art Critic, Art Historian, Writer, Politician, Cultural Commentator MARE NOSTRUM Lifetime Achievement Award 2023
  • SPECIAL PRIZE FOR INNOVATIVE IDEAS – to be identified during the Forum

The awards ceremony will not take more than 30 minutes and will be followed by a Gala dinner.Any other noteworthy details concerning this year’s Mediterranean Tourism Forum;

The theme of the forthcoming Forum (8th edition) will be MEDITERRANEAN LIFE. The issue of maintaining a balanced relationship between tourism and the environment is today receiving considerable attention at an international level more than ever before.  Accordingly, the Forum will take the perspective that what we are talking about is ultimately LIFE itself.  Indeed, tourism activity revolves around the genuine experience of the cultural and/or natural environment of a destination, hence the natural LIFE (sea, sun, forests, mountains, animals, desert etc) and the story of our LIVES and that of our ancestors (traditions, folklore, food, music and arts, historical landmarks etc).  Tourism activity also represents a major economic activity and generator of income and employment, therefore sustains the LIVELIHOODS for many of our people from across the Mediterranean region.  Equally true, however, is that tourism activity can at times be a significant cause of several unwanted social and environmental disturbances and we are now experiencing major new changes in the regulation of the travel, hospitality and tourism sector to make it more sustainable. The Forum will therefore shed light on these changes and how operators can prepare for such new realties in their business.  The Forum will also showcase innovative ideas on how to mitigate such disturbances and will demonstrate ways of how investing towards being more sustainable may lead to economic and competitive advantages – both for operators and destinations alike.  The word LIFE will hence translate itself into Low-impact Investments Favour Everyone (LIFE) which will take centre stage of the debate during the Forum.

The MEDITERRANEAN TOURISM FORUM discussion events will kick-start on the 22nd November 2023 during which various thinks tanks will be held with the aim to compile a declaration about making tourism future ready. Key amongst these activities will be the Mediterranean Tourism Ministers Summit being organised in collaboration with the Government of Malta.  In the evening there will be a networking event.  On the 23rd November there will be the Mediterranean Tourism Forum plenary session and in the afternoon various Master Classes addressing different interesting topics.  The Forum plenary will be led by Rajan Datar, BBC Broadcaster and Journalist.  All activities on this day will be held at the Hilton Hotel.   On the evening of the same day there will also be the Mediterranean Tourism Awards Gala event will be held at MCC.   Attached is the Agenda of the Forum and the Master Classes.  There will also be A Conference for Academics from across the world meeting at the Forum to present research papers about Mediterranean tourism and other conference addressing Philosophy of Life.

The President of Malta His Excellency Dr George Abela is the patron of the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation. Any message that to include in press release.

MTF is a relevant NGO acting in the Mediterranean region because it takes inspiration form objectives and research outcomes set by the bigger tourism, travel and hospitality related supranational organisations, such as UNWTO, the EU and WTTC and aims to realise them in a way which are felt pertinent by entrepreneurs and the general public whilst embracing the UN suitability goals. MTF goes beyond country boundaries and focuses on the Mediterranean characteristics which unite us as Mediterranean people. MTF is an initiative supported by the Ministry of Tourism Malta, Malta Tourism Authority and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association.

Should you require further information you may call me any time on 79454186.  For additional information about the Forum kindly refer to

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